The members of the United States Marine Corp aren’t in the habit of passing out compliments lightly. They’re usually men and women of few words and would rather let their actions speak for themselves. That’s especially true when it comes to patting the backs of the members of the U.S. Navy.

For as long as they both have existed there’s been a rivalry between the two branches (technically the Marines are part of the Navy) that borders on craziness. From personal experience I can still recall being locked up for a night somewhere in Norfolk, Virginia. The situation occurred when me and some of my jarhead friends tried to take over a Navy enlisted mans club.

There were broken bottles and a bit of blood and we were all hauled off by the MP’s to spend a night in the local jail. It wasn’t until the next day when our Gunny came by and got us all out.

We paid dearly.

Not for the fight itself, but for getting him up in the middle of the night.

Anyway, any Marine, especially those who were amongst the backbone of the Corps, the grunts and ground pounders will tell you the Navy Corpsman are one special breed. We could talk shit all we wanted about the Navy in general but when it came to those fuckers, well, let’s just say they were off limits.

They had that rare combo that consisted of balls of steel and the compassion of Florence Nightingale.

I think their prayer about sums it up…

The Corpsman’s Prayer

Grant me, oh Lord, for the coming events;
Enough knowledge to cope and some plain common sense.
Be at our side on those nightly patrols;
And be merciful judging our vulnerable souls.
Make my hands steady and as sure as a rock;
when the others go down with a wound or in shock.
Let me be close, when they bleed in the mud;
With a tourniquet handy to save precious blood.
Here in the jungle, the enemy near;
Even the corpsman can't offer much lightness and cheer.
Just help me, oh Lord, to save lives when I can;
Because even out there is merit in man.
If It's Your will, make casualties light;
And don't let any die in the murderous night.
These are my friends I'm trying to save;
They are frightened at times, but You know they are brave.
Let me not fail when they need so much;
But to help me serve with a compassionate touch.
Lord, I'm no hero -- my job is to heal;
And I want You to know Just how helpless I feel.
Bring us back safely to camp with dawn;
For too many of us are already gone.
Lord bless my friends If that's part of your plan;
And go with us tonight, when we go out again.

Author Unknown